Through the Tunnel ReviewIn the story, “Through the Tunnel”, Doris Lessing, the author, is guiding us through a young boy’s awkward time period of adolescence. The boy desperately trying to prove he is a man and trying to impress the big boys. The author impeccably portrays the fears and pressures when blooming into adulthood, along with the distress of a mother who feels overprotective of her child.
This story speaks of a young 11 year old boy, Jerry, who is on vacation with his mother. As they’re walking to the “safe” side of the beach, Jerry glances at the ” wild” side of the beach wanting to go play there. The next day he asks his mother if he can go to the rocky side of the beach and is given permission. As he gets into the water, he sees a group of older boys and starts to swim up to them. They welcome him nicely only to be ignored when they find out he is foreign. He watches them dive under the water and disappear only to show up on the other side of where they were.
He dives as well to see where they go, and sees a long dark tunnel. Soon enough the boys leave to get away from him, but that only makes him more determined to earn their acceptance. So he practices while they’re gone. While the young boy is struggling to swim through the tunnel and be accepted by the big boys, his mother is struggling to let him go by himself.
She eventually lets him go, but as soon as there seems something bad has happened, she ushers him back to her side. Will he get through the tunnel and succeed to prove himself a man to the older boys?An interesting thing about this story is that the author has done a good job at expressing the characters’ feelings. The feelings of a young boy wanting acceptance from the older boys, the feeling of rejection when they ignore him and the determination to gain their acceptance even if they emotional hurt him. Then there is the fear of a mother afraid to let her child leave the nest and soar into adulthood.
The author also did a good job in using metaphors. The story is overflowing with them. One examples is the two beaches that were mentioned in the story, the “safe” side and the “wild” side. The “safe” of the beach where the mother stays is an obvious representation of childhood safety where it’s warm and sunny and has softer and safer waves. Opposite to that, the “wild” side of the beach, where the older boys hang out can be a symbol of adulthood, rough and rocky with wilder waves. Another example is how foreign the big boys are to jerry when they talk a language that was not understood by him. This can be interpreted as a representation of how foreign and unfamiliar the adulthood is to the young boy.
I would recommend this short story because i found it interesting because of how thematic it is. This includes things like growing out of childhood and entering adulthood. I also liked how the author did a good job at portraying the characters’ feelings such as the feeling of when Jerry feels rejected by the big boys.
I think this books is also good for those who like stories with metaphors that make you look for them. This story also had me holding my breath because of its suspens.Overall, Through the Tunnel is a charming short story that demonstrates the determination of a young boy trying to fit in and prove himself a man while his mother is fearing os letting him go.
If you like quick and simple yet meaningful stories, this one is a great one.